Posts in Believe
It's Good to Belong

We’re not meant to live this life alone. Every Christian needs the spiritual support of true Community. We need others to encourage us in God’s Word and to challenge us when we stray from it. We need genuine fellowship where we’re comforted in seasons of trial. We need people we can be real with - removing our masks of performance and pretense. We need confidantes to whom we can confess our sin without fear of judgment. We need people who will pray for us and with us, believing God can do the miraculous in our lives. If you’ve been living without these things, it’s time to step in to Community where you can discover for yourself: It’s good to belong!

Scripture References:  James 5:13-20, Acts 2:42-47, Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, Romans 12:15, Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:5-9, Ephesians 5:8-13

Resolute

Our reality is that everyone faces difficult times in life.  The question is how do these times effect us?  Do they cause us to doubt God’s goodness or cause us to waiver in our commitment to Him and His will for our life?  Does our faith in Him allow us to completely trust Him even in hard times? We must stand strong in the face of difficulties and be Resolute in our commitment to Christ. 

James 5:7-12, Galatians 5:22, Hebrews 12:1-2, Isaiah 40:30-31

Weep and Howl

A Day is coming when God will pour out his wrath against all evil. On that Day of Judgment, the earthly riches we have shrewdly accumulated for ourselves will not help us. In fact, they will most likely hurt us. Material wealth often contributes to spiritual poverty. When we’re surrounded by luxury during this life, we can’t see clearly our need for Christ. God has called us to have a heart of generosity - to lay up treasure in heaven by giving away our treasure on earth. This will require sacrifice that many aren’t willing to make. However, as the missionary Jim Elliot once observed: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Scripture References:  James 5:1-6, Matthew 16:26, Revelation 3:17, Luke 17:26-27, Luke 6:24-25, 2 Samuel 24:22-24, Matthew 6:19-21

Conflicted

The reality for every Christian is that we have an internal struggle that goes on each and every day.  We fight against our desire to satisfy our sinful nature and the desire to do things according to God’s will and the leading of His Holy Spirit in our lives. How are you doing?  What defines your life?

James 4:1-12, Romans 7:18-19, Philippians 1:30, Philippians 2:3, Matthew 6:24, Galatians 5:16-26

Life Skills

There is a clear difference between “wisdom” and “intelligence.” Many people with high IQs consistently make foolish decisions that hurt themselves and others. To be wise means to be skilled at living. Wisdom is the ability to make the right choices at the right times. God has established a Way to walk in this life that exposes us to His blessing and provision. When we stray from the path of His Word, our journey can become treacherous and difficult. We become competitive with each other and jealous over other people’s good fortune. When stay on the path and humbly submit to His Word, we are at peace with God and with each other. True wisdom is revealed in our relationships with each other. No matter how many bad choices we have made in this life, we have hope in knowing that Jesus, the Wisdom of God, saves and redeems us.

Scripture References:

James 3:13-18, Matthew 23:3, Psalm 128:1-2, Proverbs 19:3, Proverbs 3:23, 1 Peter 3:17, Proverbs 3:7, 1 Corinthians 8:1-2, Proverbs 2:6, Proverbs 4:7,1 Corinthians 1:24  

Taming the Tongue

Everyday, you and I speak thousands of words. Some are carefully planned and selected; others are spoken impulsively. Some are spoken quietly; others are spoken with more volume. Some of our words are spoken with the desire to help and encourage; some with the motivation to hurt, belittle, and retaliate. However, most of our words are spoken with little, if any, thought about how they will affect others. James speaks to us about the importance of every word we speak. For each word will make an impact – both on God who records, evaluates and will judge every spoken word and on those who hear our words. The truth is that what we say matters, to God and to the effect we have on other people.  What are you saying? 

  • James 3:1-12
  • Matthew 12:36-37
  • Matthew 12:34
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Psalm 141:3

 

Faith That Works

What we really believe is revealed by how we actually live. If our faith in Christ isn’t changing us and making us more like Him, we must consider whether or not our faith is genuine. While we are saved by faith alone, we must remember that the faith that saves is not alone. God has saved us to change us. He’s done a good work in us so that we might do good works for Him. If we’ve admitted that Jesus Christ is Lord, we must submit to it every day through our attitudes and actions. A faith that doesn’t change us, that doesn’t beckon us to change the world around us, is a dead faith in need of life and revival. Does what you believe about Jesus Christ have any true impact on the way you live? 

Scripture References

  • James 2:14-16 
  • Galatians 2:16 
  • Romans 3:20, 28 
  • Ephesians 2:8-10 
  • Romans 6:1-2 
  • Matthew 7:21 
  • Galatians 2:20 
  • Romans 10:9, 13 
  • Romans 4:2-3 
  • Hebrews 6:1 
  • Revelation 3:1-3 
Only Skin Deep

Perception is reality. It shapes the way we see others and how we treat them. We pre- judge others based on their appearance, their hygiene, their clothing...their skin color. Our culture is currently mired in racial tension that would tear our country apart, and the hope for this divided world remains a united Church. Our faith in Christ challenges the human tendency toward partiality and leaves no room for the prejudice that divides us. It beckons us to see others as God sees them - to take the time to understand them and get to know who they really are. As Christians, we are called to love others - all others - as we love ourselves. We’re called to serve as instruments of God’s mercy in a world demanding judgment. We are called to tear down the walls that distinguish “us” and “them” and to rejoice in knowing we are all “His.” 

Listen and Live

We all do it. While someone else is talking, we're thinking about what we're going to say next instead of about what is being said to us. God wants us to slow down and listen. It begins with listening but can not stop there, we are called to put the truths of God’s word into practice.

 How well do you listen to and live out the word of God?

  • James 1:19-27
  • Psalm119:103
  • Matthew 13:1-9
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:13
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • Matthew 7:24